A narcissistic personality has its merits. Steve Jobs’ narcissism, for example, helped instill cult-like loyalty from employees. Such a leader might take dizzying risks that others wouldn’t. But narcissism has a darker side, too.
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To get Swedish commuters to take the stairs instead of the escalator at a metro stop, they turned the staircase into a giant keyboard, complete with sound. How can you use the same approach to change people’s behavior at work?
Gen. George Washington never hesitated to use young talent. Example: Henry Knox, who grew up poor and uneducated, became recognized as a military authority. In 1775, Washington saw that Knox had supervised construction of impressive ramparts north of Boston, made him a colonel and gave him a seemingly impossible task—moving heavy artillery 300 miles, which Knox achieved.
When Ingvar Kamprad founded IKEA in 1943, he didn’t sell furniture. He sold a variety of goods, including wallets and jewelry. Yet, IKEA became a worldwide success at selling simple, inexpensive assemble-it-yourself furniture through a series of shrewd distribution and positioning moves on Kamprad’s part.